Now that we’re out as parents-to-be (more on how that went down at another date), it’s starting to feel a bit more exciting. Among countless kind words and many thoughtful cards from family and friends, one of my husband’s dearest employees sent us a case of Seventh Generation organic diapers to congratulate us on the big news, which means we have officially embarked upon the great amassing of stuff that is nesting.

I am not ashamed (well, not too ashamed) to admit that I am a shopper. That being said, I am daunted by the prospect of choosing baby gear. As a means of preparation, I have a stack of pregnancies magazines a friend/mother of a 6 week old gave me and a copy of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products (this book is 310 pages). I’ve also browsed the internet for lists along the lines of “what’s the absolute minimum amount of crap I need to get through the first year,” all with the intention of balancing the desire to have as little baby stuff as possible while still registering for everything I am likely to need (what can I say, I am also cheap).

That is to say, I haven’t actually registered for anything yet. In fact, I’m not even close.

A few months before our wedding, after much nagging from both sides of the family and showers right around the corner, my husband and I drove up to Tyson’s Corner outside D.C. to register for the likes of cookware and china and such. We expected this to be both easy and fun, as it’s basically shopping with someone else’s money. It was distinctly neither.

Two hours into the ordeal and we were still standing in Bloomingdales, staring at the china patterns, completely paralyzed. We hadn’t zapped a single item with our scanner. We were registry failures. By the end of the day we’d settled reluctantly on cookware and bedding and headed home. By the end of the month, we’d removed almost everything from our Bloomindales registry in favor of Bed Bath & Beyond and Restoration Hardware. The whole horrible experience had been for not.

As such, my husband is leaving the baby registry up to me.

And what did I learn from this experience (other than the fact that online registries are a savior)? Go to the store already knowing what you’re deciding between, see the items in person and then register for your favorites. I suspect this will be doubly important for baby gear, as my concerns are more than just aesthetic (what’s the beginning age for the stroller, what’s the weight limit on the bouncy chair thing, what breast pump has the best reviews/is easiest to clean).

Now I just need a deadline (and preferably one well before my due date). I think I’ll try to rope my mother into joining me on the excursion, although I can already hear the grumbles of disgust when she sees how much strollers are going for these days…


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